It’s design tip 101: painting your walls in shades of black, navy, or burgundy can immediately shrink a place, making it feel claustrophobic. If you’re a fan of the darker color palette, ensure you use it sparingly. Try using brighter, lighter accessories to bring a touch of lightness to the room.
Too much furniture
Chunky pieces of furniture will suck the space out of any room. Consider what you can afford to shrink down on. Is your table too big for its actual function? Do you really need three sofas in your living room? Removing just one piece of clunky furniture can have a drastic effect on your room’s design.
Too much random stuff
Just because you’ve collected an impressive magnet collection over the years, it doesn’t mean you should have it all out on display. Consider putting your knickknacks into storage – they’ll still be there when you want to relive your memories, but they’ll no longer be taking up unnecessary space.
A lack of feng shui
Feng shui wasn’t just a buzzword of the 2010s – it’s a tool that can actually be used to great effect. Ensure that pathways are left open, that you have a clear eyeline to the room’s exit, and that your bed or sofa is facing the door, if possible. Simply rearranging your rooms in this manner will allow for a breathier, lighter-feeling environment.
The wrong flooring
Many would-be designers fail to realize just how important your choice of flooring truly is. Too dark, and your floor can suck all of the light out of the room, leaving it feeling oppressive. Too light, and it can throw off the balance with the rest of your design choices.
Ignoring vertical space
Walls are often a neglected, under-appreciated part of design. Instead of leaving them to be bland and boring, incorporate the space into both your design and your storage. Hanging a canvas is a great way of breaking up the empty space, while putting up some shelves can give you some much-needed storage space.
It may not be how much furniture you have that’s the issue – just what type of furniture you’ve opted for. Instead of going for chunky, space-consuming pieces, go for daintier options. Color choice is important too, with black leathers immediately making a space seem smaller than it truly is.
Not having a visual anchor point
You want to have one particular area that wows your guests. Whether it’s an unusual sculpture, a feature wall, or a roaring fireplace, there should be something in the room that draws the eye, granting the illusion of extra space. Ensure you only have one of these features, however, as too many of them will have the opposite effect.
A lack of mirrors
An easy hack to lighten up a room is to add some mirrors to your walls. Even one mirror will do, with the reflective surface immediately bringing light into the area. Mirrors also prevent your home from looking too harsh, with the item breaking up any empty wall space.
Too many patterns
One pattern is fine – in fact, it’s encouraged, giving your home a splash of personality. Two patterns, however, is a big no-no. Overdoing it with clashing fabrics is a designer’s nightmare, tricking the mind into thinking that a room is smaller than it truly is.
Pushing furniture against the wall
Contrary to popular belief, not all of your furniture needs to be pushed directly up against the wall, saving space in the middle of the room. Instead, designers recommend that you leave an inch or two between your furniture and your walls, granting an extra layer of space.
Painting your walls bright colors
Just because you should avoid dull, dark colors, it doesn’t mean you should go ahead and paint all of your walls in bright hues. Doing so will give off a garish look, actually resulting in your room looking tinier. Stick to neutral tones for the best effect.
Nothing drags down a room’s overall appeal than having chunky black wires on display. While they’re sometime inevitable, there are ways around it. Move your space about, placing your television nearer to the power socket. Or, consider purchasing some wire hiding strips, keeping those messy tangles of cables out of sight.
Using floor lamps
Floor lamps can bring a nice, cozy vibe to a living room. However, if you’re tight on space, they can also make the area seem cramped and small. If you can, avoid floor lamps altogether, freeing up your space. If not, swap it out for something a bit daintier.
The wrong rug
Your rug choice is everything when it comes to room design. Choosing one that’s too big will make everything seem squished together. Too small, and it looks feeble and useless. You also want to ensure that your rug isn’t too dark or garish – opting for lighter, more neutral tones instead.
Having a combination of different flooring types can be confusing to the eye, automatically shrinking the size of the room – particularly if the same room features different textures. Try and have your flooring types seamlessly transition into one another, bringing a sense of unity to your home.
Sometimes, there may be nothing wrong with how you’ve decked out your decor. If you’ve followed all the rules of feng shui and your home still looks small, consider looking at your lighting. If it’s too dark, it’ll naturally make your room seem smaller. Invest in some brighter bulbs to bring a dazzling light to your area.
A lack of curtains
You may think that omitting curtains from your room will create more space – after all, there’s less physically present in the room. However, this is untrue. Including curtains can add a sense of height to your windows, tricking the eye into thinking an area is bigger than it actually is.
Storage is a wondrous thing, keeping all of your unused goodies away from prying eyes. Overdoing it on storage items, however, can immediately shrink a place. Storage is usually quite bulky, so featuring gigantic boxes, crates, and cabinets throughout your home is a quick way to suck up space.
Too many plants
As lovely as plants are, you may want to consider only having one or two if you’re trying to be space-conscious. Plants can make a room look cluttered, particularly if they grow too large. Ensure you regularly trim your leafy pals in order to keep a minimalist appeal.
Too many rugs
The more Bohemian among us may be tempted to lavish their homes with several rugs, shoving the mats down in each and every room. Ideally, you only want one or two of the items – with a strict rule of one per room. This will allow your home to breathe, without overwhelming any visitors with a mismatch of patterns and materials.
While a ceiling fan is a must-have for those hot summer months, you may want to consider whether the one you currently own is doing your home any favors. Not only may it look outdated and clunky, but it may also be hindering your home’s overall allure.
Furniture by windows
Try to avoid bunching all of your furniture up by your windows. Although it may make for a nice view, it can prevent the amount of natural light that pours into your home, resulting in a space that looks dark and gloomy. Spread your furniture out, ensuring that your windows aren’t obscured.
Hanging short curtains
They may look dainty – and they certainly fill your home with less fabric – but short curtains can make your home look smaller than it actually is. Short curtains essentially cut your room in two, confusing the eye. Instead, invest in curtains that skim across the floor, granting the room a sense of height.
Breaking up sight lines
You want the eye to see as far as possible throughout your home. This means keeping hallways, doors, and windows as clear as you can, letting heap loads of natural light illuminate your space. Keep chunky vertical pieces of furniture such as wardrobes out of sight, allowing your rooms to feel airier.
Hanging oversized art
You should definitely hang up some art on your walls, breaking up empty space while adding pops of color. Make sure that the frame you hang isn’t too overbearing, though. If it’s too large, it’ll suck all of the life out of the room, leaving it feeling tiny.
Going dark for your trims
Many designers make the mistake of painting their trims in dark tones, using black to provide a sense of drama. While the dramatic effect is certainly accomplished, it also significantly reduces the home’s sense of scale. It breaks the room up into sections – something you want to avoid if you’re seeking the illusion of space.
If your primary focus is space, you need to know your colors. Too many bright and bold colors squished together can make a bold impact – but only if it’s done right. Avoid pairing tones that clash, such as pinks and orange, as it can result in sensory overload for any onlookers.
Too many photo frames
We all love proudly displaying our friends and family for all to see but, if you’re looking to create the illusion of space, it may be time to reduce the amount of photo frames that are scattered throughout your home. They can make your house look cluttered and disorganized, as well as being a nightmare to dust.
Ignoring oblongs and circles
Not everything in your home has to feature sharp angles. While many designers claim that this can give your home a modern edge, it can also reduce space. Throw in some items with curved edges, with circular rugs or oval-shaped couches to bring a sense of both space and softness to your home.
Having light fixtures too low
Statement light fixtures are always tempting, bringing a sense of glamor to your home. However, ensure that you don’t hang these pieces too low – doing so will immediately make any room seem cramped. The bigger the light is, the higher you want to place it, drawing all eyes upwards.
Too much stuff
It can be tempting to stuff your home full of every eye-catching item you stumble across, filling it with color and texture. However, doing so will result in a house that seems untidy, unkempt, and small. Strip it back to the basics, instead only placing accessories with a keen designer’s eye.
Hoarding outdated tech
Old technology is bulky, taking up unnecessary space. Do you really need to keep your DVD collection on display now that you use streaming services? Are those CDs truly necessary if you listen to your music on Spotify? Have a look around your home and see what you can afford to put into storage.
Having books on display
Bibliophiles beware – books don’t always have the design impact that you’d believe. They take up a huge amount of space that may be hindering your home, making it seem smaller than it truly is. See if you can bear to part with some of your miniature library, breathing fresh life into your living space.
A lack of empty space
Although you want to utilize space as best as you can, it’s sometimes best to keep some areas completely clear. Not every room needs to feature storage shelves or bold, bright pieces of artwork. Keep some surfaces completely empty, making your home seem roomier.
Failing to use shelves
Don’t have all of your stuff littered across the floor – install some shelves. Not only are they a fantastic storage option, but they can also be used with design in mind. Put up a corner shelf paired with a low-hanging plant to grant your space a sense of height, immediately making it seem that touch bigger.
Failing to have designated areas
Everything in your home some have a designated spot. Your TV remote should be put in a drawer, kids toys should be placed in storage, and your shoes in a shoebox. Doing so will keep your home clutter-free, immediately allowing your space to seem larger and airier.
Breaking up too much space
You don’t want your home to be too segmented, with every corner of your home being blocked off or featuring a bold theme. Doing so will make your house seem smaller and closed in. Instead, try to keep your areas as open as possible, flowing into one another with ease.
Failing to get creative
It can be hard to make a small home seem bigger than it truly is – but it is possible. Sometimes, you just need to be creative. Turn your under-bed area into storage, or add some extra shelves inside your wardrobe. Anything you can do to squeeze in a small sense of space will have great effects in the long run.
Neglecting to plan
The best thing to do when trying to make your home seem larger than it truly is is to plan. Draw up a rough outline of your floor plan, sketching in where all of your furniture can go. Doing this will allow you to see things from a different perspective, perhaps giving you ideas you hadn’t yet thought of.